BMW Heaven - The Knowledge Base 2.0

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Z4 - E89 (2008 - ...) - Design and Technology

User Rating: / 247
Article Index
Z4 - E89 (2008 - ...)
Design and Technology
Design: Modern, Emotional, Authentic
The Retractable Hardtop
Drivetrain: Straight-Six in the Roadster
Body and Safety
Equipment: Driving Pleasure All the Way
Flexible Production
All Pages

Six-speed transmission with extremely short gearshift travel featured as standard.
All variants of the new BMW Z4 come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. Developed specifically for BMW’s new Roadster, the various transmission options are particularly sporting in their character. Indeed, this is borne out in particular by extremely short gearshift travel much shorter than on all other current BMW models with a manual gearshift.

Optional: seven-speed sports automatic with double clutch and six-speed sports automatic with Steptronic.
As an option the top version of the new Roadster, the BMW Z4 sDrive35i, is available with BMW’s newly developed sports automatic complete with a double-clutch gearbox. This ensures even faster acceleration, combining this extra performance and dynamism even in comparison with the regular six-speed manual gearbox with all the comfort features of BMW automatic transmission.
Seven-speed sports automatic with its double-clutch gearbox shifts gears without the slightest interruption of traction, the fast and smooth gear change allowing unusually harmonious acceleration and helping to reduce both fuel consumption and emissions.
The BMW Z4 sDrive35i with its seven-speed sports automatic accelerates to 100 km/h in just 5.1 seconds, fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 9.0 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 31.4 mpg imp) outperforming the fuel economy on the same model with its manual gearbox by a significant 0.5 litres.
Sports automatic gives the driver the choice of either an automatic gearshift or manual selection of gears. A newly designed electronic gearshift lever on the centre console serves to control the sports automatic whenever required. As an alternative the driver is able to shift gears manually by means of paddles on the steering wheel.
In Program D the driver is therefore able, by pressing one of the paddles, to directly change over to the manual gearshift mode. Featured as standard, Dynamic Drive Control, in turn, acts on various other parameters and influences the overall set-up of the car as well as the gearshift characteristics in sports automatic.
In the SPORT and SPORT+ modes, this ensures significantly more powerful acceleration with an even faster gearshift, gears being shifted by closing the clutch even faster than before, with sporting feedback going straight to the driver.
The six-speed sports automatic transmission available as an option also on the BMW Z4 sDrive30i and the BMW Z4 sDrive23i promotes not only driving comfort, but also the sporting performance of BMW’s Roadster. Indeed, the sporting characteristics of the car are attributable above all to the direct connection linking the transmission to the engine, based on modern torque converter technology with an integrated torsion damper avoiding unnecessary slip and therefore helping to eliminate any unwanted loss of power and performance. Even the slightest movement of the gas pedal, therefore, is converted spontaneously into a quick response with gearshift times reduced to a minimum.
The Steptronic function on the automatic transmission offers the driver the opportunity to shift gears manually as desired. Apart from shifting gears through the selector lever on the centre console, the driver also has the option with the six-speed sports automatic to use the gearshift paddles on the steering wheel.
Moving the selector lever into the appropriate shift position, the driver is able to shift gears manually or, in driving program D, to shift gears as desired by means of the paddles.
Dynamic Drive Control also influences the gearshift characteristics of the six-speed sports automatic, with an even more spontaneous gearshift and clear feedback in the SPORT and SPORT+ modes.


Sophisticated suspension technology, high-performance ­lightweight brakes.
Rear-wheel drive typical of BMW, virtually perfect distribution of axle load, the long wheelbase and the low centre of gravity on the roadster create ideal conditions for supreme agility at all times.
Featuring a double-joint tiebar front axle made largely of aluminium and further enhanced by spring struts and a centrally guided rear axle, the new BMW Z4 comes with proven axle concepts in a configuration perfectly tailored to the specific characteristics of BMW’s unique Roadster.
A particularly outstanding feature is consistent lightweight technology in the area of the front axle, the double-joint construction offering ideal conditions for supreme dynamics thanks to kinematic arrangement of the various components.
The rear axle of the BMW Z4 Roadster, in turn, stands out through its compact configuration and precise wheel guidance, clear distribution of functions between the longitudinal arms connected to the body and the track control arms pivoting on the rear axle subframe facilitating the set-up of the suspension. As a result, directional stability, steering behaviour and lane change stability may all be optimised independently of one another.
EPS Electric Power Steering plays a leading role also in the BMW Z4 segment, enhancing the precision and comfort of steering manoeuvres and at the same time reducing fuel consumption, since the electric motor for steering power assistance is activated only when required or desired by the driver.
The new BMW Z4 comes with new high-performance brakes standing out through their powerful deceleration, fading-free characteristics, low weight, and low brake pad wear. At the same time the BMW Z4 is the first car in its segment to feature an electrical parking brake activated and released by a button on the centre console.
All versions of the new BMW Z4 come as standard on 17-inch light-alloy rims and with runflat tyres as well as a Tyre Defect Indicator.
The latest generation of DSC Dynamic Stability Control serves not only to activate the ABS brakes and ensure stability on slippery surfaces by activating the brakes or reducing engine power, but also comprises other functions such as Dry Braking and Brake Standby as well as a Start-Off Assistant on the new BMW Z4.
Acting in a similar way to a differential lock, DSC furthermore serves to prevent slip on the inner wheel in a bend running under minor load or no load whatsoever under dynamic, one-sided driving conditions.
Activating the traction mode again at the touch of a button, the driver is able to raise the response thresholds for intervention by the brakes, thus enjoying the option, for example, to set off on loose snow with the drive wheels slightly spinning. And whenever desired, the driver is also able to deactivate the DSC control system altogether.

Adaptive M Suspension with electronically adjustable dampers.
As an option the agility of the BMW Roadster may be further enhanced by the Adaptive M Suspension featuring electronically controlled dampers. A further important point is that the Adaptive M Suspension lowers the entire car by 10 millimetres or almost 0.4", ensuring an even more precise response to steering manoeuvres.
A central control unit varies the inbound and rebound stages on the four twin-sleeve gas pressure dampers to provide optimum response at all times. Indeed, this response time is so short that a signal coming from a front wheel crossing a hole in the road reaches and re-adjusts the rear dampers even before the rear wheels reach the same uneven road surface.

Comfort and sportiness in one: Dynamic Drive Control.
Benefiting from Dynamic Drive Control, the driver of the new BMW Z4 is able to vary the control map serving, in turn, to vary damper forces on the Adaptive M Sports Suspension. Dynamic Drive Control also influences the progressive effect of the gas pedal, the response of the engine, the power steering control map and the response thresholds of DSC Dynamic Stability Control. And if the car is fitted with automatic transmission, the dynamic gearshift process is controlled also in this mode.
The driver operates Dynamic Drive Control by means of a button on the centre console directly next to the gearshift or automatic selector lever. By pressing a toggle button, he is furthermore able to choose among the NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT+ modes, thus activating a pre-configured, perfectly balanced set-up.
The differences between these individual modes are clearly distinguishable on the road, the SPORT mode, for example, offering far more direct steering behaviour and a more direct response to the gas pedal. The SPORT+ mode, in turn, serves additionally to activate the DTC Dynamic Traction Control function on the DSC control pattern, intentionally allowing slight slip on the drive wheels and thus enabling the driver to take a bend in a controlled drift.

Body: extra space, greater safety.
The new BMW Z4 is slightly larger outside than its predecessor, at the same time offering significantly more comfort in terms of space and a lot more loading space: BMW’s new Roadster is 4,239 millimetres (166.9") long, 1,790 millimetres (70.5") wide, and 1,291 millimetres (50.8") high. Wheelbase measures 2,496 millimetres or 98.3".
Apart from all-round visibility, the interior offers greater headroom (+ 5 millimetres/0.20"), extra shoulder room (+ 20 millimetres/0.79") and more elbow freedom (+ 43 millimetres/1.69"). Yet a further point is that the door opening increased in size by 26 millimetres or 1.02" allows even more convenient access with the roof closed.
The extremely stiff bodyshell, lightweight construction and harmonious axle load distribution enhance both the safety and agility of the new BMW Z4. High load-resistant carrier structures, optimum use of deformation travel, the extremely stiff passenger cell and highly efficient restraint systems ensure absolutely outstanding accident safety. Frontal and head/thorax airbags, belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters are activated by the sensor-controlled electronic safety system as a function of the type and severity of a collision. The head/thorax airbags are integrated on the outside of the seat backrests and inflate over a large surface in the event of a collision from the side.


Making its premiere in the BMW Roadster: the latest generation of BMW iDrive.
The new Z4 is the first BMW Roadster to feature the trendsetting iDrive control system as part of the optional navigation system Professional.
In the new BMW Z4 the iDrive control system enhanced to an even higher level of technology serves to activate and mastermind all entertainment, information, navigation and telecommunication functions.
The system itself is made up of a Controller on the centre console and a folding, high-resolution Control Display on the instrument panel, allowing the driver to intuitively and safely mastermind all available functions through standardised movements of the Controller either tipping it in one direction, turning or pressing the Controller as required.
Pressing the direct selection buttons on the newly configured Controller, the user is able to spontaneously change to the CD, radio, telephone and navigation functions. The range of direct selection buttons has now been rounded off by the three MENU, BACK and OPTION command buttons, and eight favourite buttons in the instrument panel allow the user to save and directly select not only radio stations, telephone numbers and navigation destinations, but also other menu items available directly through iDrive.
Measuring 8.8 inches in size, the high-resolution Control Display with its resolution of 1,280 x 480 pixels offers excellent clarity in presenting graphics or pages from the internet. A picture of the Controller shown in the Control Display gives the driver greater and clearer orientation in choosing the next step in the operating process.
Using the navigation system is now even easier thanks to the optimised technologies of BMW iDrive. Full-screen map presentation, for example, offers an incomparably detailed overview of the region in which the driver is currently travelling. As an alternative the Control Display also offers an assistance window presenting further highlights and maps independent of the main map.
With navigation data saved on an 80 GB hard disc installed in the car, access times are even shorter and faster than before. And at the same time the hard disc may also be used as a 15 GB music archive.

Roadster-specific climate comfort and leather in Sun Reflective Technology.
The new BMW Z4 comes as standard with air conditioning and no less than seven blower stages. Optional automatic air conditioning, in turn, allows separate temperature selection on the driver’s and passenger’s side, individual, automatic temperature control in five stages of intensity, and manual adjustment of air stratification. With the roof opened, finally, automatic air conditioning also offers an appropriately adapted convertible mode.
Like BMW’s Convertibles, the new Roadster is available with a special, highly innovative type of leather on the seats, the interior panels and the steering wheel significantly reducing the heat effect of bright sunshine: Treatment of the leather in Sun Reflective Technology serves to integrate special colour pigments into the material reflecting infra-red irradiation in the sunlight.

Top-end audio and communication systems.
The audio systems available in the new BMW Z4 set standards in the segment in every respect.
The CD player fitted as regular series equipment also serves to play music files in the MP3 format. The optionally available audio systems then come with up to 14 loudspeakers and two additional central base speakers for an intense and very precise experience in sound, with amplifier output of up to 650 Watt.
A USB interface is available as an option supplementing the standard AUX-In port and allowing the integration of various external MP3 players or other data media such as a conventional USB stick in the car’s audio system. A CD/DVD changer in the glove compartment is also available, finally, as yet another option.
The mobile phone preparation kit with its Bluetooth interface available in conjunction with the Professional radio and the Professsional navigation system offers even greater safety and convenience when making telephone calls while driving. To fully integrate the latest Smartphone communication units in the car, the new BMW Z4 is also available with a new snap-in adapter.

New production plant: BMW Roadster coming from Regensburg.
The new BMW Z4 is built at BMW Plant Regensburg alongside the BMW 3 Series and the BMW 1 Series. This is because BMW Plant Spartanburg, where the former model was built, is concentrating from now on entirely on the production of BMW’s X models.
The first BMW Roadster with a hardtop marks the end – for the time being – of a long and unusually fascinating series of outstanding open-air models. Indeed, the history of BMW Roadsters goes all the way back to the ‘30s, the first model in this segment being the BMW 3/15 PS DA 3 Type Wartburg built in 1930 and 1931. In 1934 BMW for the first time combined the classic proportions of a roadster with a powerful straight-six engine in the BMW 315/1.
The ongoing history of the BMW Roadster was characterised time and again by legendary two-seaters reigning supreme in both motorsport and on the road. These include the BMW 328 – the winner of the 1940 Mille Miglia – as well as the BMW 507 in the 1950s, the futuristic BMW Z1 in 1988, and the BMW Z3 and Z8 arousing new passion for roadster motoring in the 1990s.
Today the new BMW Z4 benefits from all the qualities of modern engineering, interpreting the traditional values of the BMW Roadster in fascinating, new style.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 April 2010 14:38  

Latest specifications

2008 Alpina D3 Biturbo LCI Sedan (E90)

2008 Alpina D3 Biturbo  LCI Sedan (E90)
View full specifications

2010 BMW 135i (E82)

2010 BMW 135i    (E82)
View full specifications

2011 BMW 640d A Coupe (F13)

2011 BMW 640d A  Coupe (F13)
View full specifications

2010 BMW 1 Series M Coupe (E88)

2010 BMW 1 Series M   Coupe (E88)
View full specifications

1994 BMW 740i A Sedan (E38)

1994 BMW 740i A  Sedan (E38)
View full specifications

Latest pictures